It’s a family tradition on my husband’s side for everyone to gather together for the 4th of July in Oklahoma. We squeeze into the log cabin on the banks of Lake Eufala for some major relaxation. The post oak and pecan forest shade us from the 100+ degree heat while we sip iced tea.

We have one mandatory task prior to arriving at the cabin: get Porter peaches. These are the best peaches in the region, perfectly ripe at this time of year. We pulled into The Peach Barn in Porter, Oklahoma and stocked up.

I learned the difference between a “peck” and a “bushel”. We left the store with locally grown peaches, nectarines, green beans, red potatoes and sweet onions. The fruit was perfectly sweet for cobblers, tarts and fresh eating with the family.

We pulled tables together to make one long enough for us to all gather outside near the lake. If we ever have a cabin of our own, I will insist on having these blue speckled tin plates.

The dinner on the 4th of July was outstanding, as always. It was lovingly prepared by Aunt Emily and her daughters. In clockwise order from the upper left: Greek salad, brisket, pork ribs, pork sausage, baked beans, corn fritters. For dessert: peach cobbler and homemade ice cream.

Juniper was too little for the lake, so she had a mini-pool party with her cousin Sam. She splashed her arms like bird wings and was fascinated by the whole experience.

We spent some family time in the hammock – reading, napping and talking about how fortunate we are.

Having a baby slows you down in some ways, but Juniper slowed us down in the best ways. We didn’t cram too much into our schedule – just relaxing and visiting with family.

We took time to admire the trees, water, laughter, kindness and breezes more than in years past. It was a trip like the Cimarron River – slowly meandering, wandering and taking it’s time.

How did you spend your 4th of July? Was it cooking for a crowd or taking it easy? What was your favorite dish from the holiday? Leave your response in the comments!


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Written by Renee Wilkinson